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Pet Tips

 Rabies information

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Identify your pets!

We have pets arriving at our hospital almost every week having been picked up on the streets. Most of these animals have no form of identification.There are various ways to identify your pets. Name tags and collars are still the most useful and they are a lot of fun too, with lots of colourful waterproof tags available today. The most reliable means of identification is a microchip which is embedded under the skin. This is compulsory if your pet is going to travel overseas with you. It is a good idea to have a tag on the collar telling people your pet is microchipped so that anyone who finds your dog/cat will take him to the vet to be scanned and identified. REMEMBER STOPPING YOUR PETS FROM ROAMING IS YOUR RESPONSIBILITY. Don't waste animal welfare's limited rescources by forcing them to drive around fetching your dogs off the streets. If you have a dog that insists on roaming, please speak to your vet about possible solutions.

 

Parvo virus is still very much around!

Parvo virus is one of the viruses that we vaccinate puppies against with the 5 in 1 vaccination. We still see sick parvo puppies every month and many more puppies die every day because of infectious diseases like parvo. Many people are breeding and selling puppies without vaccinating them. MAKE SURE TO ONLY BUY A PUPPY THAT HAS A VACCINATION CARD SIGNED BY A VETERINARIAN IF YOU WANT TO MAXIMISE THE CHANCES OF BUYING A HEALTHY PUPPY. The first puppy vaccination is at 6 weeks old so any puppy old enough to home should be vaccinated. DONT BE CAUGHT OUT - VACCINATION IS COMPULSORY IF YOU WANT A HEALTHY DOG!
 

 

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Chronic diarrhoea in dogs and cats

My pet has recurring episodes of loose stools

What is chronic diarrhoea?

Chronic refers to a disease that has been ongoing, either persistently or intermittently for three weeks or more. Whereas diarrhoea, as many of us can relate, is the passing of soft or loose stool. This stool is usually soft enough that it needs to be scraped up rather than picked up. It can range from the consistency of thick porridge to watery like soup.



Acute Abdomen

My pet won't eat, has a distended belly, is retching, and appears restless and in pain. She seemed fine yesterday, what could be the cause?

Now and again pet owners are faced with emergency situations when their pets are suddenly in severe belly pain. Unexpectedly, both the owner and the pet are in a moment of anxiety and distress. So what could possibly be going on? This sudden severe belly pain is what veterinarians call an acute abdomen.

What is acute abdomen?

Acute means to happen suddenly, while the abdomen is the lower part of the trunk of the body, often referred to as the belly. The term acute abdomen refers to sudden pain in the belly. This sudden, severe pain in an animal’s belly should be treated as an emergency and requires immediate evaluation and response by the vet.



My pet lost a patch of fur and developed a massive sore overnight. It looks like a burn wound.

Hotspots (Acute moist dermatitis or moist eczema)

Acute moist dermatitis is a skin ailment in pets that’s caused by a trigger like an itch or pain, and exacerbated by the pet’s scratching and licking until it becomes a large bare patch of painful skin lesion. Since the lesion is an open painful wound, it’s referred to more commonly as a hotspot.



Acral lick granuloma

My pet does not stop licking his leg and has a huge sore where he licks

When a pet owner brings their animal in to the vet with a firm, raised, angry red bump on the pet’s leg or ankle, complaining that the animal (a dog more often than a cat) won’t stop licking at it, the vet knows that there is a potentially long road of diagnosis and treatment ahead. The symptoms and behaviour described here are common in what’s called acral lick granuloma



My dog is tilting his head to the side, and seems to be off balance

Head tilt - Vestibular disease

The vestibular system

The vestibular system is the body’s ‘balance messenger’ – giving mammals (including humans and pets) key sensory information that allows us to stay upright and properly orientated in the world. The vestibular system is made up of two main components: the inner ear and the brain.



Coronavirus and your pets

Now that the coronavirus has hit South Africa's shores, and several people have been confirmed to have the disease, COVID-19, there are many pet owners who are concerned about how COVID-19 will affect them and their pets.

Now that the coronavirus has hit South Africa's shores, and several people have been confirmed to have the disease, COVID-19, there are many pet owners who are concerned about how COVID-19 will affect them and their pets.

Background

Coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) is a disease caused by the coronavirus SARS-CoV-2. The source of the coronavirus is believed to be a ‘wet market’ in Wuhan, China, which sold both dead and live animals including fish and birds. Currently, there is no evidence suggesting a specific animal host as a virus reservoir, and further investigations are ongoing.



My little dog is coughing often and sometimes seems to struggle to breathe.

Tracheal collapse

What is tracheal collapse?

Tracheal collapse is a common cause of coughing and airway obstruction in dogs. The trachea, which is also known as the “windpipe”, provides the air supply from the outside to the lungs. The trachea can be thought of as resembling a vacuum cleaner pipe. It is a flexible but firm tube that is reinforced by strong cartilage rings. These rings are not complete but rather “c-shaped”, with the open end of the “c” facing to the inside of the neck with a ligament attaching from the one end of the C to the other. Sometimes these cartilage rings weaken and cannot hold their shape causing the trachea to narrow or even close, making it more difficult for air to pass through.



My cat is eating like crazy and not picking up weight

Hyperthyroidism in cats

What is hyperthyroidism?

Hyperthyroidism is a condition that arises from an excessive production and secretion of active thyroid hormones by an abnormally functioning thyroid gland. First recognised in the late 1970’s, the frequency of diagnosis has escalated dramatically - currently it is the most common endocrine (hormone system) disease in cats and also one of the more frequently diagnosed disorders in the veterinary field. The condition is estimated to affect 1 in 300 cats.



My dog's nose seems to be all clogged up and hard and he is not well at all

Distemper in dogs

Following recent outbreaks of Distemper (Hondesiekte in Afrikaans) in Kwa Zulu Natal and Gauteng, it is important to have an understanding of this disease which is fatal in half of all cases of dogs that contract the disease.



My older German Shepherd Dog seems to be getting weak in its hindquarters

Degenerative Myelopathy

This article outlines a genetic disorder that mainly German Shepherd dogs are prone to. There are other breeds affected by this condition too like Chesapeake Bay Retrievers, Corgis, Boxers, Wirehaired Fox Terriers and Rhodesian Ridgebacks, however, the disease is mostly seen in German Shepherds.

If one breaks down the name of the disease it describes what happens with the disease. Degeneration refers to a breaking down or deterioration of something. That “something” in this case is myelin which is the insulating sheath around neurons in the spinal cord. Neurons are the “electrical wires” of the nervous system and one can compare myelin to the insulating plastic around the wires, almost like one would find with an electrical cord. Whenever a term is followed by “pathy” it refers to a disease or disorder in a certain part of the body. In this case the spinal cord.



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